We explore Leadership, what it means, and why it is such an important discipline for Scrum Masters.
Sean is an officer in the Canadian army reserves, turned Agile Coach. He shares with us what he learned about leading teams in his military career. How those lessons apply to knowledge work, and how to develop our Leadership skills.
In the armed forces, we look at leaders as someone who will be with us in harms way. To be able to function effectively as teams, leaders need to learn to work with teams in a manner that builds trust and empathy. Scrum Masters can learn a lot from how that is achieved in high-pressure situations.
The book mentioned on the topic of Trust: The 5 Dysfunctions of a team by Lencioni, includes many examples and practices on how we can help build trust within our teams. We also refer to Turn the Ship Around by Marquette, a book dedicated to explore the topic of leadership filled with lessons for Scrum Masters.
We also discuss what it means to be a successful leader, and review some of the Agile Manifesto principles that bear directly on leadership, and the practice of that discipline.
Sean helps us to challenge our personal visions of leadership, what it means for our profession, and how it should influence our actions. “What type of organization do you want to build?”, Sean asks.
To help us develop our own understanding and vision of leadership Sean recommends 3 books:
Sean is an Enterprise Agile Coach with IHS Global. He has been involved with agile development for 8 years as a developer, product owner, and agile coach. Prior to his exposure to agile development Sean spent 13 years in the Canadian Army. In fact, Sean is known to point out that the Army is far more agile than most people think.
That background in the Canadian Army influenced his view of Leadership and the role of Leadership in creating and developing great teams.